I opened my mail a couple of days ago and was delighted to find, amongst all the ‘dear friend I am writing to you from Botswana’, your dropbox has expired’, Amazon suggests from your profile that you would like this CD of German experimental jazz’, and all the other stuff, these wonderful reviews from Ruth Angell.
Review for The One Hundred and Fifty – Eighth Book by Kate A Hardy.
After devouring two of Kate’s other novels Hoxton and Smithi I couldn’t wait to read this book. I wasn’t disappointed. Her style is exciting, involving, humorous, gritty and beautiful.
Kate’s imagination and descriptions of character, place, smell, form, colour, language, relationships and emotion are utterly wonderful. I was transported deep in to her interesting and compelling world and lost until the very last word. I wanted to dive in and be in the guts of the story with the characters and experience all they were experiencing.
I love how this story is almost unbelievable and yet I found myself finding similarities in my own life and hooking elements from the characters experiences into my own. The places that Hamish finds himself on his journey are so familiar, some because I have been there myself others because of how familiarly they are described to me.
The cliff hanger ending made me shout out and wish for some resolution, I couldn’t believe I would never know, genius.
Review for Hoxton by Kate A Hardy.
This is the first of Kate’s books that I have had the pleasure to read. I consumed this book within a day, no one could get through to me.
From the first opening paragraph to the last word I was wrapped in her fantasy. Kate’s imaginary world of our apocalyptic future set in Londonia is so real that you are swept along in it’s wonder and wish you were there.
I felt like the places and people were so real that I must know them already. The depth and detail in each character brings them to life on the page. The intricacies of each place, event, custom, costume, sound and so much more mean that you are left in no doubt as to where the action or non action takes place. The cultural references are perfect, the sage/ olive green bath, clothes from every era, silvers, Ikea furniture, music, a
good wine or the design of a bed throw keep linking back to what we already know or have known in our collective past.
The challenge is how to describe Kates writing without saying I am literally her biggest fan. I want to spend more and more time lost in my imagination with the wonderful creations from her head.
Review for Smithi by Kate A Hardy.
As with Kate’s other novels this one is a page turner and really had me gripped from start to finish. I love the greenness in this novel. Lots of country side, fresh air and elemental happenings.
The main character of Smithi is beautifully drawn, I found myself relating to him in his desire to escape from the city life in Manchestershire full of technologies and disconnected robotic beings to the green, fresh air and a life in the countryside. His journey takes him through such beautiful and for me familiar countryside that I found this rather an emotional read.
I think deep down we all can connect with Smithi’s longing for something better and Kate has captured that perfectly in this story in her wonderful futuristic world.
I love the darker side of Kate’s writing, her analysis of human behaviours when in difficult circumstances, situations not yet encountered by us in 2018 but so very possible in her 2070. How death is part of survival and always very near and most likely violent.
My thoughts can hardly describe or do justice to how brilliant Kate A Hardy is at engaging the reader and bringing them into her wonderful world.
I will read her novels again and again.
Ruth Angell 2018